After the first week of free agency, the Arizona Cardinals sit in a good spot both cap- and roster-wise, so we feel it is time to predict the first starting lineup for the 2013 season.
Will this be the actual starting lineup used by head coach Bruce Arians when Week 1 rolls around? No, of course not. More players could be added through free agency or released to free up even more cap space, and the NFL draft has yet to take place.
Arizona’s free-agency plans were not immediately obvious. It seemed as though there was no direction and the team was just cutting away the fat of bad contracts and old players.
But as the big picture begins coming into focus for fans and we all calm down to take a broader look at what is taking place, the masterpiece is easier to see.
General manager Steve Keim has cut the team’s two starting safeties, Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, and replaced them with long-time Cardinals’ backup safety Rashad Johnson and 35-year-old Yeremiah Bell.
He also has not added a single offensive lineman to a unit crying to be helped. What, then, is the plan?
As pointed out by Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, Keim may be waiting for the draft to find the next long-time starters on the line and at safety. It is, indeed, a deep draft for both units, and getting cheap starters who can potentially develop into stars makes a lot of sense for the organization.
Here is my best guess at next year’s first starting lineup after one week of free agency.